Best folding sawhorse

Saws

Use a sawhorse to steady wood and keep it level.

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Which folding sawhorse is best?

A sawhorse is a basic yet indispensable tool that’s probably been with us for as long as there have been carpenters. Over the years, there have been several developments in sawhorses. Different materials and modifications of the design have occurred that make them more adaptable for today’s DIYer and professional.

Our favorite, the Rockwell JawHorse, offers great versatility and appeals in particular to those who frequently work with and cut large sheets of material.

What to know before you buy a folding sawhorse

Use

If you’re primarily going to work with light and small pieces of wood, a smaller sawhorse is fine, as is a lightweight one made of plastic. However, if you work with large or long pieces of wood, you want a very sturdy, bigger sawhorse.

Dimensions

If you’ll be standing at the sawhorse for extended periods, working height is important. If it’s too low, you’ll get backache. Between 31 and 35 inches is a comfortable range for most people, although a few sawhorses offer height adjustability. That can  be beneficial if you’re working with thicker material, such as wood for a cabinet.

In terms of width, it’s common for a sawhorse to stretch 3 feet across. That’s not so much big as it is cumbersome—but it’s enough to support an 8-by-4-foot sheet. If you work with material larger than that, you might want to look at one of several models with extending sides.

What to look for in a quality folding sawhorse

Stability

The most important issue is stability. Although some sawhorses are fixed, most fold to some degree. That’s great for storage and portability but it could potentially reduce stability when erected. The legs must lock in place and will ideally have a cross brace.

Weight limit

Look at the maximum load rating, which can be anywhere from 300 to 1,000 pounds per sawhorse. Be careful here: Just because a sawhorse can carry a massive weight doesn’t mean it should. Proper support and balance is key. Most people use sawhorses for things such as doors, planks of wood and sheet metal, so it’s rare for weight to be a major factor.

Material

The material with which a sawhorse is made probably won’t make a lot of difference. They tend to be steel or heavy-duty plastic/nylon. If the steel is protected (powder coating is common), rust shouldn’t be a problem. However, you might want to think about the feet. Narrow sawhorse feet could dig into laminate or wooden flooring, whereas large rubber feet would spread the load better. Of course, if you work on cement or tile, that won’t matter.

How much you can expect to spend on a folding sawhorse

The cheapest sawhorse is made using nylon or resin brackets and a 2-by-4. You should be able to set up a pair for around $35. A pair of folding steel sawhorses starts at about $50, and you could pay between $100 and $180 for heavy-duty adjustable and extending models as well as specialist sheet-handling tools.

Folding sawhorse FAQ

Are there any folding sawhorse safety recommendations?

A. Make sure the sawhorses are level and the legs are properly spaced so they can’t tip over. If it’s a folding sawhorse, make sure the legs are locked. Be aware of the amount of force you’re exerting—although unlikely, you could get hurt if you push them over.

Why do some folding sawhorses have holes in the top?

A. The holes are for attaching “sacrificial” lumber. When working with a sheet, it can be difficult to see the sawhorse, and you might cut into it accidentally. If the sawhorse is steel, it’s likely to damage your blade. Instead, you can screw a piece of cheap wood onto the top. It won’t harm your blade, and you can easily change it when it wears out.

What’s the best folding sawhorse to buy?

Top folding sawhorse

Rockwell Jawhorse Sheetmaster

Rockwell JawHorse Sheetmaster

What you need to know: This works as an extra pair of hands for those who regularly work with sheet material.

What you’ll love: This heavy-duty sawhorse doesn’t just support sheets up to 8-by-4 feet; it clamps them as well. The three-legged design is great on uneven surfaces.

What you should consider: It is expensive. Some users reported occasional problems with the front support leg.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top folding sawhorse for the money

Bora Portamate Steel Folding Sawhorse

Bora Portamate Steel Folding Sawhorse

What you need to know: The durable metal frame offers a good value for DIY or site work.

What you’ll love: It is compact when folded. It is reasonably lightweight, yet it supports up to 500 pounds. Predrilled holes are for screwing lumber to the top.

What you should consider: It has variable quality control. Leg locking can be poor.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

2x4basics 90196 Custom Pro Brackets Sawhorse

2×4 Basics Sawhorse Brackets

What you need to know:  While it doesn’t actually fold, this sawhorse is particularly good for those who are shorter or taller than average.

What you’ll love: Made of durable heavy-gauge resin, you can make it any width or height you like.

What you should consider: Molding size can vary so the lumber sometimes needs planing to fit.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Bob Beacham writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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